I’m home now, having safely returned from Monterey, VA, where, in spite of actually being paid to teach, I had a wonderful restful, restorative week with two women whom I adore. Both creative spirits, felters, not weavers, but both interested in using their skills to create art clothing, and it was a pleasure to work with both of them.
The flight home was a bit frustrating, though I’ve had much worse experiences, I was anxious to get home, since I hadn’t seen my husband in almost a month. We were to fly in 10 minutes apart. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, he made it in, and then a line of severe thunderstorms moved in, over the mid-Atlantic region, and our plane had to turn around and land back in Richmond. We waited out the storm, and finally got clearance to return to Newark, where I battled lines and angry New Yorkers, and traffic, and delays, and I exhaled slowly and remembered that this is home and I really do love to live in the metropolitan NY area. Mostly…
I took some lovely photos, and I hope to refer back to this blog periodically to remind myself of this lovely get-away, in this lovely mountain town, in lovely western Virginia. Did I mention it was lovely? From the sunrise in the morning, tea on the porch before walking into town for Evelyn’s egg, bacon and cheese croissant, across the street from the studio.
There were dinner parties in the evening, Lisa’s friends joined us or invited us to dinner, each night I got to share in some of the wonderful stories of small town life. They write books on this kind of stuff. Everyone was so gentle, so friendly, so helpful, and I feel like I have a new family there. We visited Deborah in her home further up the mountain, isolated, and full of the sounds of the tree frogs, and the birds. She cooked us an excellent meal, including fresh garden pea croistini, and cold avocado soup. I wanted to live on her porch. The view was incredible. (And then the rational part of me took over and all I could think was, who cuts that lawn?)
Gisela and Lisa worked hard, we all did, Gisela created patterns for simple garments, we did two and three muslins before we got them right, fine tuning the fit, so she can use the basic shapes as templates for her lovely nuno felt.
Lisa got a bit sidetracked on one of her muslins, and dug out some felt scraps, and veered off onto an adventure that netted this amazing vest. She worked furiously to finish it so she could wear it to the final dinner party at Deborah’s.
We talked at great length about turning this into an annual retreat. There was a lot of interest from the local residents of the town, in joining the class, there were quilters, and those interested in making garments, and we are looking at dates in May of 2011. Once a decision is made, I’ll post the dates in my schedule on my website, and consider joining us on this retreat next year, for a Wearable Extravaganza. We will more than likely be limiting the class to 8, and Lisa has an entire house available for lodging, which from what I understand will be included in the cost of the retreat. There is so much to see and do in the area, I wished I’d had a few extra days to play tourist. As it turned out, I settled for lunch time wanderings in the local craft shops and galleries. Of course I did my best to support the local economy. And Hap’s Sweet Potato Fries are the best!
I’m still unpacking, but I managed to get through the stack of mail. One media mail package intrigued me, I didn’t recognize the return address. I did one of those, “Gee, wonder what I ordered?”
I couldn’t believe it when I pulled out of the envelope three Award Certificates. My Frosted Florals Dress took first place at the Fiber Celebration 2010 exhibit sponsored by the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild, held in the Tointon Gallery for the Visual Arts, Greeley, CO . There were some photos of the exhibit posted on the internet, though I didn’t see my dress in any of the photos. There was a monetary award with the first place certificate, and then to my incredible surprise, there was another certificate under it, for second place (with another monetary award) in the functional division for my Celebration Bag. I’m really thrilled to get this award, since I had entered that bag in the Convergence Tampa Bay Functional exhibit and it wasn’t accepted. And so it goes…
The final award of the three turned out to be the Halcyon Yarns Award, no mention of the criteria, but with it came a book on Collapse Weave by Anne Field, creating three-dimensional cloth. I already have the book on my shelf, but I’m sure one of my guilds could use it in their library, or I’ll start a library collection for my daughter… Maybe this is a sign from the universe that I have to actually open the book and experiment with the structures…
So now, I have mapped out a strategy for preparing for two very intensive workshops, one at the Newark Museum, a fiber boot camp, no experience necessary, just four days of all kinds of fiber techniques, great for fiber artist wannabes, and of course, the unwieldy Convergence, where I’ll be entertaining more than 230 students in six seminars and a day long workshop. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little overwhelmed… So the next couple of weeks, interspersed with some family events and getaways, will be all about printing, prep, packing, and preparing for both of these events. Oh, and there is my Weavezine column to write… But first, a trip to Jerry’s Art supply in search of a 24″ spiral bound notebook so I can use the spiral ring in my Rest in Peace faculty piece… Stay tuned…
Congratulations on your ‘winnings,’particularly the Celebration Bag. It looks as though a Louise’s Daughter mini sculpture brought you luck. Was it affixed as ornamentation or for photo delight, or … what?
Sue in MA
Yep, I give Cheryl Olney, (Louise’s Daughter) credit for the “purchased pin” in the description of the bag. I was partly inspired by the pin, which I purchased from her some years back. Thanks for noticing! I love her celebratory women, I have a number of her wall pieces, and this particular pin just wanted to be part of this celebration bag!
Woo Hoo!!!!!! Congrats on all of your rewards. No one deserves it more. Thank you so much for all the incredible compliments…..my creative engine has been topped off and I’ve got a heavy foot on the accelerator. You’ll be with me everyday, as your influence oozes from my finger tips. Ciao Bella